Tired? Always go to bed early? Mood low frequently? Don't just write this off as a normal and untreatable part of married life. You may instead have a thyroid disorder and not know it.
A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that nearly 10% of adults suffer from some form of thyroid disease, most often a condition called subclinical hypothyroidism, although according to this study, half the people with subclinical hypothyroidism don't know they have it, and - here's the really disturbing part - this may be slowly killing them.
Now I'm sure you all know what the thyroid gland is and where to find it, but just to refresh your memories, the thyroid gland is in your neck, and it's instrumental in controlling your metabolic rate, the rate at which your tissues burn energy. Thus, when you are hyperthyroid and your gland is overactive, everything speeds up - you sweat lots and feel hotter than those around you, your heart beats faster, you are often "speedy" (think two double cappuccinos - per hour!), and so on.
An under-active thyroid leads to (surprise!) hypothyroidism in which all systems slow - you tire easily, tend to gain weight, are always cold, etc. Subclinical hypothyroidism means that your thyroid is under-active but you have not developed any symptoms yet.
"Big deal," you may say. "If I don't have symptoms, why should I care? You doctors always want to treat everything. I prefer to wait until I get symptoms, thank you very much."
But this may not be a wise strategy. Hypothyroidism, which is more common in women and also increases with age, is associated with higher cholesterol levels, and unless the hypothyroidism is controlled with thyroid hormone replacement medication, cholesterol levels may stay high, leaving such people at higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
If your cholesterol level is high, or if you have symptoms suggestive of thyroid disease, get a thyroid hormone level blood test, and if it's low, treat it even if you have no symptoms yet.
As a start, you will likely feel more energetic. More important, you may also be saving your life.